At MMXLII, we’ve discussed the new found love for the “booty” first celebrated in urban culture-, in our Perception of Beauty piece. Major Lazer’s outrageous latest video “Bubble Butt” can be seen as a hommage to this newly accepted emphasis on womanly curves. Largeup.com put together a great comparison between the major Lazer video directed by Eric Warenheim and its predecessor that laregly changed the game: Six Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”.
The pioneer: Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1992 single “Baby Got Back”
The brown girls/big booties vs. white girls/flat asses debate has probably been discussed behind closed doors for as long as African and European people have been living side by side. But the Seattle MC’s homage to bubble butts brought discussion of the relationship between race and derriere proportions out into the open, and the mainstream. Not only did Mix-A-Lot’s tribute challenge social norms (“I’m tired of magazines! Sayin’ flat butts are the thing!”) when it comes to women, race and body type— you could convincingly argue that it altered them.
Flash forward to 2013, and butt injections are as common as breast implants. Butt size is practically a national obsession, but things are a little more complicated and nuanced now: the most famously round ass in the world belongs to a white woman. So while “Baby Got Back” has been the definitive musical statement when it comes to ass size for more than 20 years, it seems that the time was ripe for an update. Leave it to Major Lazer, the game-changing dancehall sound system led by the white, American man who gave us M.I.A. and Snoop Lion, to play around with these notions in a fun, yet provocative way that probably only they can.
Videos after the break.